Template:Featured article/August 2015

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Loss of a Gallant Ship

An enquiry by the family of a Royal Artillery gunner killed onboard a China Navigation ship during World War II led to an interesting search through Swire and Admiralty records to try to piece together the last hours of S.S. Shuntien, torpedoed in the Mediterranean in December 1941.

Shuntien, (3059 gross tons), was built by Taikoo Dockyard in 1934 for China Navigation’s Shanghai-Tianjin service. At that time, she was one of the fastest vessels in the fleet, with a normal speed of 16 knots but capability of going much faster. She was compact at just 300 feet long, to allow her to manoeuvre in the river at Tianjin, and had a strengthened, icebreaker bow. Click here for more...